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What’s your COVID-19 story? SiTara wants to know

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Do you have a story to share about COVID-19?

SiTara’s Story, a non-profit charitable organisation that aims to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research, is asking ACT residents including people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities to share their COVID story.

Aiming to advance equity for women and girls, SiTara’s Story runs talk shops to support CALD women in the ACT, delivering mental health awareness programs and running creative writing competitions and cooking workshops all for the purpose of creating mental health awareness within CALD communities in Australia.

The latest writing competition–‘what is your story?’– is targeting the fears, experiences and observations of CALD communities, using the stories as records for future government and non-government policies regarding CALD communities and managing a pandemic.

Driven by the curiosity of what the 3000 people in the Flemington and North Melbourne public housing towers were feeling during lockdown last year, the founder of SiTara’s Story Dr Shamaruh Mirza says she is excited to help record history.

“COVID changes us forever,” says Shamaruh. “Every person went through a unique experience, and saw the pandemic from their own perspective. It is important to record the stories, not only to record memories, to influence future policies regarding managing a pandemic and CALD groups.”

Partnering with the ACT Heritage Library as part of the project, SiTara’s Story is asking for personal stories presented in one of  three different creative formats: poetry, creative writing and cultural expository.

The competition also plays another important role: it acts as a safe space for people to talk about their struggles during the pandemic.

With several prizes to be won including the opportunity to have work published, Shamaruh says they are looking for a story about “what it’s like living with COVID, in our part of the world or the other part of the world that we left years back– what makes us nostalgic; what challenges we have overcome; what makes us a different person.”

Entrants must be over 18 years old and an ACT resident to take part. Entries close on Monday 31 January 2022.

To find out more visit sitarasstory.com/story/#eligibility

THE ESSENTIALS

What: What is your story? Writing competition.

When: Entries close Monday 31 January 2022.

Who: Entrants must be over the age of 18 and an ACT resident.

Word limit: 1000 words or less.

Web: sitarasstory.com/story/#eligibility

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